Have you ever sat down and tried to make a list of all the things you've learned from your parents? Aside from the *important* things, what are those little lessons that we learn by example? The (sometimes) inconsequential things that we remember a parent for?
- Convince your daughter to have the expensive wedding. Worry later how you’ll pay for it.
- A good story deserves to be retold.
- A father is his daughter’s fiercest protector. While the daughter may not appreciate all that yelling and screaming on her behalf (especially if she’s a teenager) she should allow it to happen and be glad for his protection, because one day he won’t be there to do it.
- Do something with all those National Geographic magazines you’ve been saving in the garage, before you die, so that your kids won’t have to feel bad about throwing them away.
- Pending loss and grief give rise to new friendships and make clear those that should give way.
- Stamp your feet when you’re angry. Your kids will remember you for it and laugh.
- Let people take care of you when you need caring for. It helps them, even if it doesn’t make you feel any better.
- Mispronounce words, often.
- Cooking sun-dried tomatoes, Jamaican beef patties, or hearts of palm will cause raised eyebrows at the dinner table. Getting angry about it will only make your kids laugh more. (When you’re not looking, of course!)
- Believe in life, always.
Because I needed to hear it today, the second anniversary of my dad's passing, NPR's All Things Considered aired a wonderful audio segment about a father and daughter called A Father's Last Days. It was a sweet and sad reminder of the final months of my dad's life and made me wish that I'd had the strength, humor, and foresight that Adrian had when helping her dad face the end of his life. Worth a listen, but have a tissue handy.